Heard Of Bruges? Here’s A 2-Day Itinerary For You

Medieval old town of Bruges, things to do in 2 days

Medieval old town of Bruges, things to do in 2 daysI had a fun experience with visiting Bruges, as the second time I came there by accident 🙂

To have your trip more planned out, Miranda tells about the best things to do in Bruges in a 2 day itinerary.

Keep on reading!

Have not heard of it yet? Bruges is a small city in the northwestern part of Belgium. It is often overshadowed by the glitz and glamour of its nearby cities but if you take a closer look, you will be surprised.

Often coined as the Venice of the North, its old canals and historical buildings will take you into a different world; a world of art, architecture, beauty, and serenity.

In the morning, just like any other beautiful city. It is almost always packed with tourists but it transforms into a tranquil medieval town at night.

If you are planning to take a day trip or spend the night over, there are plenty of things you can do and see at Bruges.

Let us take the cobbled street path towards this romantic city in this 2-day itinerary for you.

DAY ONE – Take a trip to the past!

See the Belfry of Bruges

Belfry tower in Bruges, things to do in 2 days

The Belfry of Bruges is one of the most prominent symbols of the city. Once used as an observation post for dangers and intruders, this UNESCO World Heritage site is frequented by people from everywhere.

If you are up for some legwork, take the 366 steps in a steep staircase towards the top of the belfry and marvel at the 360-degree view. I swear, it is worth it!

Explore the Market Square (Grote Markt)

Medieval old town of Bruges, things to do in 2 days

After you are done marveling at the sight of the market square from above the belfry, it is time to have closer look. Wander through the historical buildings around the square and see statues of war heroes like Jan Breydel and Pieter de Coninck in the middle.

You won’t be able to miss the colorful brick houses on one side of the square. Looks familiar? These stunning houses are always featured in Bruges postcards. Snap a picture or two and create a postcard of your own!

Feel the medieval Bruges by booking a bike carriage city tour

Time Travel to Medieval Bruges inside The Historium


After you are done marveling through the picturesque facade of the buildings, step inside the Historium Bruges. You can get to know the city from way back the medieval era through an 8-minute VR experience. Afterward, let it all sink in while marveling at the panoramic view of the square from the Historium’s terrace.

Book a ticket to Historium online

Visit The Church of Our Lady

This place is a must see in Bruges. The church was built between the 13th – 15th century and is famous for its art collection and a huge brick tower.

It is where you can find Michelangelo’s the famous Madonna and Child sculpture. It was purchased by two Brugean merchants and it is said to be the only artwork of Michelangelo that has left Italy during his time.

Have A Romantic Walk at the St. Bonifacius BridgeBridge in Bruges, Belgium

Tucked behind the Church of Our Lady is one of the most romantic spots in Bruges. The locals would refer to this as the Lovers’ Bridge as the whole area definitely screams of romance.

A short bridge surrounded by tall trees, old Flemish houses lining the canal and the sound of water gushing through. It does not get more romantic than that!

Stroll Around The Old St. John’s Hospital

St. John's Hospital in Bruges on water

The Old St. John’s Hospital has one of the most picturesque gothic complexes in Bruges. It was built in the 12th century just beside the Church of Our Lady.

It was initially an institution for sick travelers and pilgrims then it expanded into a hospital with eight wards. It now serves as a museum where old medical instruments, hospital records, and other works of art are displayed.

Have a Walk Around Minnewater Park

You will see this as soon as you set foot in Bruges if you arrive by train. The beautiful Minnewater Park is situated between the train station and the old town. Walk along and marvel at the stunning Lake of Love and see the majestic swans swimming through, unaware of the people around them.

The story of these swans among the locals actually piqued my interest. It is said that during the 15th-century, the people of Bruges revolted against Emperor Maximilian of Austria. He was forced to watch the execution of his men and as he escaped, he placed a ‘curse’ on the city.

Until the end of time, Bruges should have no less than 58 swans or else the city will flood. To this date, the city ensures that there are more than 58 swans floating around. You may call it superstition or tradition but this is just one of the many things that make Bruges interesting!

Sail Along The Canals of Bruges

Canals in Bruges, things to do in 2 days

One thing you must do when visiting Bruges is taking a boat tour along its canals. Of course, you will have to go when it is not winter time to experience this activity. It is not difficult to find a boat that would take you as there are several ports in the city.

Marvel through the old houses and tall trees lining the winding canals of Bruges in this 30-minute activity. This can be a relaxing activity you can do to rest your tired feet after a day of running around.

These canals are closed for private tours only so the only ones you will see floating around in other boats are fellow tourists. Locals use these canals to cool off during the summer too!

End the Day At Rose Quay

Before heading to your accommodation, you have to see the sunset at Rose Quay. This is a busy area during the day and it can get a little crowded.

Sneak in to see the sky turn into hues of orange, yellow, and red during sunset and you will definitely feel Bruges’ calming charm. This is a nice way to cap off your day.

DAY TWO – Because one is not enough!

Visit Burg Square

This square is a must-see in Bruges due to its gothic and neoclassical architectural designs. It is where you can also find the Gothic Town Hall established in 1537 which was once the political center of the city.

As you go inside the Town Hall, feast your eyes on the picturesque 19th-century murals painted all over the ‘Gothic Hall’.

See The Basilica of The Holy Blood

Basilica of the Holy Blood in Bruges, Belgium

Just beside the Town Hall is one of the most preserved churches in West Flanders. This church is home to an important Roman Catholic relic.

It is where what is believed to be the blood of Jesus is kept. Devout Catholics and other participants would march each year to parade the relic throughout the city of Bruges.

Tour The Brewery In Bruges

Visit the only remaining brewery in BrugesDe Halve Maan Brewery and see where they have been making beer since 1865. The whole tour lasts for about forty-five minutes. During which, you will see trade secrets in beer making and get to taste the local beer Brugse Zot.

They also serve lunch in the tavern for those looking for a different way to spend their meals.

Tip: There is a monthly Argentine tango dance-night at ‘De Halve Maan’ brewery. Add flair to your vacation and do not miss out on this one!

Check this beer tasting tour to try all sorts of local beer

Eat Belgian Waffles and Chocolates

Belgian chocolate, what to try in Bruges

Belgium is well known for its rich and tasty chocolates and waffles. While you are at Bruges, do not miss to have a taste of the real thing! If you have time to spare, visit the Choco-Story Bruges for an in-depth experience of chocolate making.

Tip: If you are on a tight budget and do not want to splurge on a purchase, you may want to take a personal tour of Wollestraat. Chocolate shops in that area offer a free taste!

You can also book a guided chocolate-and-beer tour to the best places to try them.

See The Almshouses

Almshouses are composed of 46 almost similar whitewashed houses built in the 14th century. These one-story buildings were originally built by the rich for the elderly and single women in Bruges.

In return, the ‘poor’ people housed in the almshouses will have to pray for the rich benefactors in the chapels located near their homes.

Now, these serve as shops and historical buildings that reflect the past.

Snap a Shot at Rozenhoedkaai

Rozenhoedkaai canal in Bruges

One of the most photographed spots in Bruges, this iconic location is where you can find many canals, cafes, and buildings. It has stunning scenery making it the perfect backdrop to any photo.

Unwind at Windmills

The windmills of Bruges are located in the quieter part of the city and were built in the 17th century. If you want to take a moment and let all the beauty of Bruges sink in, this is a good spot to do it.

The windmills were originally 25 in numbers but some were left inoperational. You may want to rest or probably have a small picnic by the grass near the Sint-Janshuis Mill.

Windmill, what to see in Bruges

Tip: There is a quaint place nearby called De Windmolen where you can have a cup of cocoa or mug of beer while having a peek into the local suburban life in St. Anna.

Illuminate Your Night

The old town of Bruges things to do in 2 days

For your last night in Bruges, you can stay a bit longer and wander through the famous areas at night. By doing so, you will see the city in a different light. The already magnificent city becomes more magical as you walk through the illuminated buildings.

The perfect blend of quiet surroundings with buildings and bridges and their reflections on the clear serene water makes the ideal end to your two days stay at Bruges.

Planning Your Trip to Bruges

How To Get to Bruges

It may not be as popular as other cities in Europe but it surely is easily accessible. You may take budget flights to Brussels and from there, you can take a train ride for an hour and thirty minutes to Bruges.

There are taxis and buses available at the station to take you to your accommodation but before hopping on, remember to visit Minnewater Park nearby.

When To Visit Bruges

Anytime is the best time to go visit Bruges. During the summer though, when it is hot and sunny, Bruges is packed with tourists. If you do not mind the cold weather, I would suggest going during the off-peak season.

Bruges during winter gives off a surreal vibe and you won’t have to wait for the crowd to dissipate before taking a decent picture! Also, the prices of hotels and other goods tend to become more budget-friendly during autumn or winter.

Where to Stay in Bruges

You might be surprised as to how flexible this quiet little city is with its accommodation options.

I even came across with a dog-friendly bed and breakfast place!

If you plan to travel with your fur buddy, you may want to check out The Doghouse and of course, familiarize yourself with airline pet policies first.

Hotel Duke’s Palace is the only 5-star hotel in  Bruges. If you do not mind spending a few extra bucks, you can stay in this former convent. Rebuilt in neo-gothic style in the 1880s, it is now renovated to retain its past glory while providing top-of-the-line modern amenities.

If you are traveling on a budget just as I was, there are several budget and boutique hotels you can stay in.

Ibis Budget Train Station is a good option for a budget friendly, basic yet clean accommodation close to the train station.

If you prefer staying in apartments, I recommend you using Airbnb (get a discount off your first booking using this link).

What to Try

Belgian waffles, what to try in Bruges in 2 days

Apart from chocolates, waffles, and beers, Bruges has so much more to offer.

Get fries or fries as we would call it, from frite carts in the city center. In Bruges, they have the delectable moules-frites which are actually mussels and fries. Their local Flemish stew is a local dish that is usually beef slow cooked in dark beer. It goes so well with bread, mustard or some hot sauce.

Book your food tour here

Bruges is a city that seemed to have remained unaffected by modernization. It has retained its timeless beauty and has preserved its colorful history. Whether you are in need of a quick breather from the bustling city life or looking for a perfect vacation spot to quietly spend your weekend in, Bruges is the place for you.

So go on, book that ticket and be fascinated of your 2 days in Bruges!

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things to do 2 days in Bruges, collage with the best attractions of the city

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